Category Archives: antidepressant

Therapy session was tough…

This is from my newer blog that chronicles my problem with using alcohol. I drink to hide from my depressive feelings and trying to break the habit is not as easy as I thought.

My Healing Recovery

This is a follow up to my last post regarding being honest about relapsing to my therapist.

Yesterday I had a session with Lynn and, after getting the pleasantries about her vacation and my surgery out of the way, I squirmed uncomfortably on her couch and bluntly said, “I should start by telling you that I started drinking wine again.”

She asked a few questions, the first one, “What day did you have a drink?”

I answered, “May 18th, the last time I saw you before you went on vacation.”

She asked me to tell her about what happened and I dismissively replied, “Who, what, where, when and how don’t matter as much as the why.” She nodded and played along. I say played along because I feel like I was deflecting from the whole truth because I didn’t have the guts to be totally straight forward. I…

View original post 1,427 more words

Depression without alcohol

Lynn lowered the Celexa from 20 mgs to 10 mgs and within a month I felt depression lurking. Oddly, I was clear-headed and “normal” for about a week while the medication slowly left my system.   This phenomenon has happened enough times that I’m certain others have been on this merry-go-round.

It starts with taking an antidepressant and as the ride goes up I begin to feel some relief.  When I get to the top, along with relief comes the negative side effects that outweigh the good ones or my therapist and I feel I’ve spent enough time at the top with medications and decide to withdraw me from the meds and see if the ride can continue on its own.  Will my brain be able to balance its chemicals properly?  I hopefully believe maybe I’ll stay on top and the medication’s side effects will go down.  For me, there’s a brief period where it looks like that’s going to happen – I’m on top of the world!  Look, Mom, no antidepressants.  I’m back to myself again.  I have normal emotions and the negative ones aren’t over powering all the others.  Then, every damn time, I begin the decent.  It’s happening as I write.  My emotions are morphing from contentment and acceptance to displeasure and a feeling of rejection with myself.

This time I don’t have alcohol in my system so I’m not self-medicating and the experience is all the more real.  In fact I think this is a first!  Depression without alcohol.  Man, does it suck.

About a year ago I told my therapist I need to treat my depression in order to stop drinking but she said I need to stop drinking to treat my depression.  Here is what my therapist said: “Your drinking is the big elephant sitting in the room.”

I don’t disagree with her analysis but who wants to live constantly aware of the elephant.  Not I.  I want a glass of wine to dull the awareness of my depression and forget about the actual depression.

A couple of days ago, I called Lynn and she suggested we increase the medication to 15 mgs and see if the side effects and the depression both lessen and I find a happy medium.  While I wait for the meds to kick in I’m sleeping a lot and eating more chocolate than I should.  I am also guilty of taking an extra clonazepam (Klonopin) last night.  But at least I waited 5 hours between doses and, more importantly, I didn’t drink.

I’m committed to getting my mental state under control without abusing alcohol.  No more drinking to numb out.

Sorry for all of the metaphors.  I’m not sure what’s up with that!

– Daylily –

The next step in healing…

Why have I’ve moved on from My Depression Chronicles to the new blog about emotional drinking?

Simply put: the depression is under control.  If I were to take a self-test for depression, I would pass. That doesn’t mean I don’t have depression; it means I am asymptomatic.

What’s the magic? My therapist is a prescribing registered nurse and experimented with dosages to find the perfect cocktail.  I take Wellbutrin, Celexa and Klonopin. (I am one of the lucky ones who respond well to antidepressants).  They have calmed my negative thoughts and allowed me to feel in control of things. The benefits of depression being properly treated reach into all areas of my life. I feel in control and I was able to lose weight, lower my blood pressure and reduce my drinking.

So, what’s the problem? Why the new blog?

My therapist rightly said that once we have one piece of our lives in order we are ready to tackle another area. How true that is. I’m ready to take the connecting flight to the next item on my list of personal areas to heal.   The next stop is to look at my drinking habits but first a walk down memory lane…

The beginning of my healing journey, back in my twenties, was focused on reducing the effects from childhood sexual abuse and learning to let go so that I didn’t continue to suffer PTSD and dissociation. Living in constant “fight or flight” with a wall up was exhausting. During this time, I developed the eating disorder anorexia. I exercised obsessively and ate barely anything. Reliving the pain of CSA was hard work and an eating disorder gave me a sense of control. I was in talk therapy but hadn’t been diagnosed with depression. The therapist told me I had PTSD and later dysthymia.

I quit smoking and starting eating healthy again when I turned 30. A few years and 2 kids later, the stress level grew and I suffered with insomnia and little desire to eat again. At age 37 my doctor diagnosed me with major depression. Paxil improved my mood and so began my adventures with antidepressants, experimenting for the next few years to find one that didn’t make me tired, hungry or dispassionate about sex. Nothing worked like Paxil for my depression so I went back to paroxetine about 5 years ago. The trouble with that drug is its side effects make me crave carbs and alcohol. Fortunately, I wasn’t depressed so I landed a decent job and made some positive connections in my community. However, from age 35 to 38 I ate too many carbs during the day and drank too much wine at night. I sincerely believe the antidepressant caused my 60 lb. weight gain.

This blog began when my weight was up, my drinking was what I call “self-medicating” and my health was beginning to suffer, with the most obvious signs high blood pressure, perceptible changes in my blood sugar and the beginnings of an ulcer.

One year later I’ve lost 30 lbs., resolved my stomach issues and reduced my blood pressure and most importantly I’m not depressed. I still have a good job and many social ties. BUT, I am still drinking to “self-medicate.”

It’s like the curtain getting pulled back to expose the wizard. What’s left is my drinking. Why do I drink? What am I so afraid of? I know the answer in its simplest form; I don’t want to feel any negative emotions. I drink to numb my feelings. That’s where the “emotional drinking” name for my blog comes from.

I stopped drinking 11 days ago and I’m prepared for the fallout. I’m not going to run to a wine bottle. I plan on facing my emotions. My head is in the right place and the time has come to uncover all that I am and discover all that I can be.

Now boarding for www.emotionaldrinkingdotcom.wordpress.com.

♥ Daylily

Bedroom secrets — antidepressants and sex

My blog gets many inquisitive hits about the use of antidepressants and sexual satisfaction. From time to time I do write openly about this topic. Here’s one of those times so be forewarned; exit now if you don’t want to read an honest post with regard to my sexuality and depression.

Many antidepressants have made it nearly impossible for me to achieve orgasm. All I can figure is antidepressants mess up my hormones and they don’t allow the tension to build to the point of being able to climax.  On Paxil I enjoyed manual stimulation but I couldn’t come. This wasn’t satisfying because sex didn’t feel right to me if I couldn’t complete the act. I would frustratingly try to get-off and all I would get is sore from trying too hard.

I took my prescribed medications and suffered with a poor sex life for a couple of years because I understood the benefits to my depression. During this time, life evened-out for me.  I learned to not be in a constant state of flight or fight.  I didn’t have to disassociate my feelings from my thoughts because they were basically under control.  Eventually, I missed the enjoyment of a healthy sex life so I sought out a psychiatrist to help me find a medication that did not have negative sexual side effects. During this time I was able to achieve orgasm but Lexapro, Effexor, Pristiq and Zoloft decreased my desire and having sex was more of a chore than something I desired.

I should mention that prior to getting on antidepressants, my sexual desire was strong. In fact, so much so that early in my marriage I was the aggressor and my husband would turn me away because he didn’t have the same level of desire. I could get off pretty easily with him and I wanted sex often. Because of these differences, I learned to use a power massager to have an orgasm on my own. The massager was made for sore muscles but I found it was useful in other areas.  Talk about quick. When I’m in the right mood I can come in less than a minute.

Husband started showing more interest in me once I didn’t “need” him anymore. He joined me in the bedroom and overtime bought me a couple of different dildos to complement the pleasure from my massager. Truthfully, I was embarrassed by these gifts but also intrigued. Husband continues to like to satisfy me with my “toys” before he and I take care of him. I used to feel embarrassed that he was watching and helping me masturbate because it was ingrained in me that good girls don’t do that. Husband made me feel sexy and loved when I played with my toys so it began to be a part of our love-making. Ironically, Husband initiates sex more now and the tables have turned and he has the stronger sex drive.

This change is probably because of the nasty effects of antidepressants. They definitely lowered my sexual desire and my pleasure.  I began to feel like I could take it or leave it. Last November I sought out another prescribing professional to help me find a better antidepressant. I wasn’t as concerned about sexual function as much as my obsession for carbohydrates. Paroxetine worked best on my depression but it caused excessive weight gain and a desire to drink too much wine. I wasn’t sure if the wine was a craving or a way to self-medicate depression. (That’s another post but basically it was both plus a habit that is difficult to break). My newest therapist writes prescriptions and she currently has me on Wellbutrin and Celexa. This is a good balance of medications that treats my depression, lessons my craving for carbs, gives me more control over my drinking and allows me to be multi-orgasmic once again. My husband is initiating sex almost every night (we’re both on vacation) and I am eagerly responding to his advances.

I believe couples have to get creative when our bodies do less than what we want. My husband’s high blood pressure medication makes it hard for him to sustain an erection so getting-off by making love is nearly impossible for both of us. He helps me use my toys and I help by jerking him off and giving him oral. Even a guy with erectile issues can usually get hard if the woman doesn’t pressure him to penetrate her. (This is where my toys come in handy). No two people are the same so I can’t promise the medications I take would work for anyone else but my advice would be to keep looking for the ones that have the least amount of negative side effects.

I hope this post was helpful to those that visit my blog looking for answers about depression and sexuality. I recognize it’s unabashed and bold but in reality we are all sexual creatures. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I can honestly say I have healed from how the early trauma affected me sexually. It didn’t happen overnight. I became confident and self-assured in the bedroom because I have a great guy in my life who sincerely wants to give me pleasure and sex usually begets sex.

♥Daylily

Doubling SSRI brings relief from depression

One week ago today my therapist increased my SSRI, Celexa, from 10 mg to 20 mg.  The effects are obvious.  My worries have been lifted.  Not kidding.  Peace has befallen me and it didn’t come about from mindful meditation, exercise, cutting back on my drinking or weight loss.  All it took was a little white pill that’s smaller than the eraser at the end of a pencil.

I’m reminded of my “about” page where I assert my depression is no more than a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters.  For a bit, I lost sight of that belief.  My effort at changing thought patterns required me to look hard at my negative thinking and that in itself caused a spiral downward into depression.

I’m a bit worried because this time was the worse yet.  I gave into a sense of helplessness like never before.  But, on the flip-side, for years I’ve envied people with mental illness who are able to express themselves and put it all on the table.  I’ve lived a closeted life of depression and it’s been quite isolating.

Last Monday was a first; I exposed that part of me to a few close people in my life and I felt embraced and supported.  I feel liberated!  It feels like a miracle has taken place.

In-a-nutshell, I do not feel anxious about anything.  I am my calm, rational, even-keel self.  When I was on Paxil I enjoyed this feeling for about 3 years before I got tired of the weight gain and lack of sex drive.  Let’s not go there!

For now, I will enjoy the calm waters.  I need a break from the turbulent ocean I’ve been crashing around in.

“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson
I take credit for making this reprieve occur.  Whether it’s seeking my therapist’s help, calling my mother or doing a shit-load of grief work at the radical forgiveness workshop, it happened because I am actively pursuing a better state of living.  I am determined to continue exercising, meditating and easing up on the alcohol. ♥ Daylily

Reaching out during a depressive episode

The bottom of despair is a shitty place to be; I know because I spent the morning there. Schools were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy so I took advantage of this day off from work to settle deep into depression. I didn’t consciously do it but the opportunity arose and I took full advantage.

Why am I talking like I did something helpful when I felt like such crap last night and this morning? Well, that’s where the silver lining comes in. There may even have been a rainbow.

I have never, ever climbed into bed and expressed my feelings of depression while there. My pattern is to wallow alone and then pull myself together, all the while hiding how awful I feel – to myself and those that love me. No bullshit. This is one of my learned behaviors leftover from childhood.

This morning I passed the hours curled up under my down comforter crying that I was so pitiful. I cried that I didn’t have the strength to get out of bed; I cried that I wasn’t hungry and that I had no desire to eat. I was alone in my misery for what felt like forever. I determined that I was really bad off because I could neither lift my head nor could I find the strength to eat so I should call my therapist. Isn’t depression the reason I was under her care? I contemplated this for a long time as I huddled under my covers with my cell phone. Eventually, I just did it.

Lynn answered on the second ring and I casually said who it was and then, “I see you’ve returned from your vacation.” She responded, “Yes, just in time for the hurricane.” Small talk out-of-the-way I said, “I called you because I’m really not doing well.”

I haven’t seen Lynn for close to a month due to her 3-week vacation. “Is it something that just came up or has it been building for a while?” asked Lynn.

“Well, I have to tell you, this is a first for me, to call my therapist and talk about how I’m feeling. I have never called for help before but I am really low right now.” I cried that I couldn’t get out of bed, that I wasn’t hungry and that I’m failing my family by not cooking for them, by being distant and isolated and I threw in something about my husband saying I didn’t know how to be intimate.

Then I stopped talking and asked, “Is this a good time for you? I don’t want to keep you from anything.” How stupid of me, as if she could hang up now. I’m just standing on the edge of this cliff but I can wait for you to call me later. In hindsight, that was a “duh” moment. After a brief pause from her, she said she certainly had time for me.

I quickly caught her up to speed about how I went to this “radical forgiveness” workshop to release feelings of self blame. She agreed that was quite a big step for me and when I told her I got overwhelmed with emotions and I couldn’t get away so I went into auto pilot, she asked about the facilitator. I told her I emailed the facilitator and I was reassured that I hadn’t done anything wrong although Lynn said usually a psychologist will tell you what to do in the event things become overpowering. I don’t know what to believe but it’s been 3 weeks since the workshop and I still feel like crap.

One major trigger to my sense of despair could be a book I’m reading because it hits so close to home. Living with your Heart Wide Open is exposing so many open wounds that every chapter is like getting re-traumatized. It’s all about self-criticism and a prevailing sense of unworthiness. I can’t get to the part about self-compassion because I’m busy beating myself up over negative patterns the book says I’ve developed and that I must learn to break.

Lynn asked if I could talk about the one thing that is upsetting me – is it feeling unloved. “Can you tell me how you’re feeling?” I was still buried under my covers and I said, “I don’t know,” while I audibly sobbed.

For me to be without a word is rare; I typically control the ebb and flow of our therapy sessions. Of course, she was trying to figure out what was going on with me and, I’m guessing this response was a red flag that I was depressed and not thinking straight.

Lynn said I must ask my husband to help me. Explain to him how I don’t like to feel a lack of intimacy. I cried that I couldn’t, that he and I were berating each other.

Lynn suggested that I stop reading the book but continue with the mindfulness cd, which has been helping me to fall asleep at night. She said that it sounds like I’m aggressively trying to fix my problem through forcing it. I can’t recall the exact word but she insinuated that I’m trying to direct my healing by micro-managing every piece of it.

She’s absolutely right. I felt as much and it’s backfiring; I’m worse and not better. Self-help groups, self-healing books, yoga and a sense of being broken have exasperated my depression.

Lynn thought I should increase the Celexa to 20 mg (I’m on 10 now). I agreed and I made an appointment for 2 weeks out because of my busy schedule on the weekends.

After hanging up, I whimpered quietly, under the safety of my blankets and soft pillows. In the back of mind I was thinking of the “radical forgiveness” workshop, how emotionally charged it was and I recognized that I never released all of the stuff that was brought to the surface. Intellectually I thought I should have cried but I couldn’t – until today. It was like opening the flood gates! I have not cried in years and, as much as I didn’t like how it took me over, the release was good for me.

Well, I still couldn’t lift my head or consider going down to the kitchen to eat something so I called my husband (who works in his home office). He said he was in the middle of an important presentation (everything is tele-com these days) and he would be done in 15 minutes.

My husband walked in the bedroom and there I was, in bed, crying with my elbow covering my face. I felt so ugly I had to hide but when he asked what was wrong, I spoke. I didn’t retreat inside my shell or tell myself he doesn’t really care (which is a well-worn pattern). Instead I told him I was depressed and I couldn’t get up. He told me just do it for the kids downstairs. I said, “They are enjoying their day off from school and don’t even care where I am.” Husband said, “They know you are not downstairs with them.”

I swore I would never get up and he looked flustered. He was rubbing my arm and telling me nice things that I don’t remember. He leaned down and hugged me and my arms felt limp like spaghetti. I accepted his hug but couldn’t give back. I said I need to eat something and he said he’ll cook and I should pull myself together and come down in 10 minutes. Again, I said I can’t get up and pleaded with him to bring me something. I told him I wanted toast and grits (I’m not southern but I love grits, anyway). He came back and demanded that I sit up but I just couldn’t do it. I made him put the plate and bowl on the bed 3 inches from my mouth and I fed myself as if I were a sick bird or a dying man. Husband went back to work and I sniffled in my bed. With every bite the food tasted better and I gained strength.

How could I have missed that my depression was back? The tell-tale signs are night-waking, lack of appetite and emotionally distant from the family. I misconstrued all of that for necessary paths to inner compassion and mindfulness. This experience highlights how directly my childhood thought patterns correlate to depression. With each day that I focused on my past “stories” my depression grew worse. It’s uncanny.

Next I did the bravest thing of all. I called my mother, from my bed, in a deep depression. I prayed she would pick up and not my step-dad and my prayers were answered. I said, “Hi Mom.” Her quick response, “What is going on, it sounds like you’ve been crying.” I snuffled that I have been crying and went into the whole I can’t get out of bed thing. She asked about my depression, my medications, my therapist and my husband helping me. To the last part I told her, “Husband doesn’t even believe in depression.” She’s known my husband for 3 decades and she said, “Well you should take him to your therapist so he can get educated.”

The reason I called my mom is I’m having extreme guilt that she wants me to host Thanksgiving and I don’t have the energy. I always try to do what is right and please her and I didn’t know how I would manage it this year. My mom recently moved to a retirement home and part of her down-sizing was dispersing things. To me, she handed down a large oriental rug for my dining room and her set of wedding silver. It is all beautiful and generous and I feel so obligated to use it for a family gathering. I told her I can’t host anything because I’m feeling like a failure in everything I do right now.

My mother’s response was better than I hoped because she was thoughtful and caring. She said she would stay at the retirement home for Thanksgiving. She offered to come and help me if I wanted her to. I told her I have so much going on with family, kids, sports, school, and work that if they came down it would be one more thing on my plate.

Then my mom asked me, “How did you get depression?”

I take the plunge and offer full disclosure, “It was caused by childhood trauma. I learned to tell myself things that weren’t true but that allowed me to grow up. I am still stuck in childhood thoughts that I’m not worthwhile or good enough.”

“Oh, honey,” she lovingly responds.

I reassure her, “It’s nobody’s fault, not my parents or my brothers; it’s just how things happened.” I stumble with words and say, “I learned to tell myself I wasn’t worth it.”

I tell her not to worry about me, that I will be okay. This is when she told me something that broke my heart in a good way.

My mom said, “I will worry about you every minute of every day. You know you are my favorite child.”

I quickly deflected her kind words by saying, “All of your children are your favorites.” But, I heard love and caring in her words. We said good-bye and I love you and when I hung up, I retreated back under my covers to cry some more. But, this time I was crying because my mom and I connected on a deep level. I was touched that she said I was her favorite child. Never in a million years did I ever think she would tell me that. I’ve got brothers who are successful, talented, intelligent and relate to my mom on an intellectual level where as, I fall short on all of those things that are important to my mom. Perhaps those thoughts could be part of the “stories” of my childhood that I made up and learned to believe. I just heard with my own ears that my mom thinks I’m special. I will try to hold on to that and use this silver lining to my advantage.

I slept after the phone call with my mother and awoke ready to get out of bed around 3 pm. The news stations cautioned that no one should be out on the roads so I was securely stuck in my home. We lost electricity around 4:30 pm and darkness set in. My husband set up our generator and so we have a few lights, heat, water and the refrigerator working, plus we have internet. I sit here typing and uploading to Word Press via backup generator. It’s nice to feel removed from outside forces after completely breaking down today. It looks like I have work tomorrow although many schools are closed for another day. I best listen to Lynn who said I must eat and get a good night’s sleep. The increase in my antidepressant will take a while to kick in. I’m hopeful because I do respond well to SSRI’s.

Daylily

I Try But Me and Therapy Just Don’t Mix Well

It’s been a month since I saw my therapist/medication-prescriber and, once again, the time has come to pay her a visit.  This Saturday I will see Lynn and I’m not eager.  Reluctance would be more like it.

I’m not getting anywhere with my desire to treat my depression without alcohol.  Lynn knows that’s why I went to her almost a year ago.  I wanted to switch antidepressants with the hope I would feel settled and less anxious and not drink.

That’s not happening.

A realization is appearing before me.  I have to want to stop drinking and I can’t say that is true.  I need the respite from my thoughts.  I know no other way to stop the constant worry, questions, doubts and anxiety.  My medication lessens my nervousness but not low enough to stop having a few glasses of wine (or the whole bottle) on a pretty regular basis.  The alcohol dulls my anxiety better than Celexa, Wellbutrin and Klonopin combined.

Not drinking during the work week is progress but just when I balance the chemicals and begin to sleep and feel normal, I sabotage my own progress by drinking too much and going back into a tired/dull thinking cycle.  This can’t be good for my brain to be mixing drugs (granted they are prescribed to me) and alcohol.  It’s a see-saw ride in my head.  Up — feel clear and alert, down — feel tired and slow.  Up. Down. Up. Down.  When I feel up I drink to go down because I’m too hyper-vigilant but when I’m down I never want to go up. I just do it because I don’t want to ruin my life with alcohol.

What’s it going to take for me to want to change?

I wish I knew. 

I don’t know.

How can I keep going to my therapist when what I said I would do, I’m not doing, despite her holding up her end of the deal?  She prescribed a cocktail of antidepressants and anxiety medications and, on my end, I said I would quit drinking.

Going to see Lynn is like looking at myself in the mirror and facing my failures.

I convinced her I could visit monthly but what good is that unless I’m doing something the rest of the time to help myself?

Seriously, why do people go to therapists when they are not improving?

I blame myself and not the therapist.

I may as well just see Lynn when I need my medications refilled.

I have no idea what therapy will be like on Saturday.  I feel like crying at my sense of failure.  I could express those feelings to her.  Or I could fake wellness, which I am quite good at.  It’s all up to me and the answer isn’t forthcoming.  I’ve got 4 days until I show up at her door for my 45 minute session.  I best sleep on it for a few days.

♥ Daylily

Post that gets the most hits on my blog is…

Husband doesn’t believe in my depression. It sucks to have a mental illness and be around people who believe it’s all in your head.  But the proof is that there’s a 3rd person telling us we aren’t as bad as we feel, people do love us, we have a job where we are needed or a husband or child who depend on us.  On a deep level we know that every single one of us is born equal.  Our behaviors or thoughts do not change our inner goodness.  Then, we ask ourselves, why am I depressed, feeling worthless and unloved?  I sincerely believe there is a chemical imbalance in our brains that causes ruminations and self-defeating thought and behavior patterns.  Most often early trauma can cause faulty wiring but it can also be as simple as genetics.

Due to all the hits about husbands doubting the diagnosis of depression I feel compelled to say that even if no one else you know believes in “mental illness”  that doesn’t mean it isn’t so.  Doctors, nurses and therapists all know it is a real illness.  There’s no need for shame or self-blame when it comes time to seek help, regardless of whether you get support from your close family and friends.

I’ve been on a path of healing from early trauma and depression for 3 decades.  My husband doesn’t believe in medication but I do.  I have a doctor and a therapist that also believe in the efficacy of antidepressants.   The family I grew up in can understand it on an intellectual level however, I feel judged as being weak for needing antidepressants.

I don’t fight about my medication with my husband or my family of origin because I do not seek them out for support with depression.  Occasionally I’ll bring up my depression with my husband but he will usually reply with a quick answer like, “Maybe it’s that you are getting too much sleep.”  In my head I know I’m sleeping too much because of depression but I don’t argue with him.  I go and tell my therapist or my best girlfriend.  Acknowledgment of your pain and suffering is very important when you don’t have immediate family and friends supporting you.   You can love your family regardless of their ignorance and get help elsewhere.  ♥ Daylily

Antidepressants make me tired and lifeless

Is it so wrong that I love to take naps during the day on my memory foam mattress?  Do I have a problem that I sneak off early to my bed — in search of alone time — to go to bed before the rest of my family?  What about that I sleep with ear plugs and a pillow over my head?  Does that say This girl has issues?  She does not want to be a part of  life? 

My husband sleeps in another room.  Not far away, less that 20 feet from my head to his but still it’s not the same bed.  When we sleep together, he snores and I don’t like to be touched at night.  I wake easily by his light snoring and I go into flight or fight reflex if he wraps his arm around me.  I complain and he leaves the room so he can get a good nights sleep.  It’s become easier for him to sleep in the guest room across the hall from our master bedroom.  No one gets woken up with this situation.  (Now might be the time to mention we’ve been together for 30 years, married 23).

My Husband came to my bed and woke me up this morning with a need for intimacy that I did not feel.  I kept the ear plugs in and the pillow over my head.  All I said was, “I wanted to sleep late today.”  I feel so guilty that I don’t respond if I don’t feel like it and this morning I had no desire.  As I lay in bed, pillow over my head, I thought I should be wearing pretty panties for husband.  Not the big, white, Hane’s hi-cut briefs that are so comfortable.  What happened to those days when I bought Maidenform matching sets for hubby?  I used to go to great lengths to buy stockings, garters, bra and panties, back in the good old days.  But, Hubby doesn’t complain.  He sees beauty beneath all the outer stuff (like big white undies) and truly seems in love with me for who I am.  He appreciates the essence of my femininity and gets off on something he sees in me that I often lack the ability to see in myself.  I feel he needs pretty lace panties to find me attractive but he doesn’t.  It’s been years since I bought that stuff.  I shouldn’t even be thinking that’s what he needs.  He would rather just have his wife take the ear plugs out of her ears and the pillow off her head and engage in mutually satisfying sex.

Sigh… I suspect the medication is causing a lack of desire.  ♥ Daylily

Grief is work (part 2)

The people who are closest to me have the uncanny ability to send me into a downward spiral. When I hit bottom, I encounter a sense of worthlessness that is difficult to recover from. Oddly enough, professional relationships and acquaintances don’t have this effect on me. Now that I’ve exposed my vulnerabilities to my therapist she can make me feel bad about myself (as was the case from the last visit when I felt stupid about my run-away mouth).

I must question this entire premise, of me believing these people “send me” or “make me” feel a certain way. How could they when they don’t even know how I feel from what they’ve said or done? I typically suffer in silence without letting on how I feel to the offending person. Therefore, I will re-word the issue I’m addressing here.

What causes my self-depreciating reaction when people that I love and who love me hurt my feelings? No, re-word again. What causes my self-depreciating reaction when I feel hurt by those that I love and who love me?

From the top…

What causes me to feel worthless when I feel hurt by people whom I love? Why do I react that way? Am I just so sensitive that I get my feelings hurt easily?

A few examples that can put me in a funk:

When my husband acts like one of the children, for instance he moans and groans when I suggest a day at the museum or taking a family trip to a historical site.  Instead of supporting me, he complains.

When my mother retells history and blames me for her woes.

My dad (before he died) criticizing me with words like, “Your best isn’t good enough.” Or telling me “Watching TV is a waste of brain cells.”

My grandmother (who also died) telling me how ungrateful I am for not sending thank you cards.

These may seem inconsequential except I carry this shit around and remember the feeling of my loved ones putting me down. I CAN’T REMEMBER THEM BUILDING ME UP!

I suspect this sadness I feel at the mere memory of these events is a sign that I have very low self-esteem. Loved ones  need only make one negative comment and I fall hard, hating myself.

This brings me back full circle to the void I feel, the emptiness in me. It is palpable. I wish I didn’t feel so worthless.

What I am describing is not “major depression” because I am not ruminating, neither am I feeling low on energy nor feeling the desire to isolate myself. If I took a depression test right now I would pass. My medications are treating my depression.

Sidebar—it’s been quite awhile since I mentioned the medications I’m currently on so for those interested: I take all generics but they are equivalent to Wellbutrin SR 100MG, Celexa 10MG and Klonopin 0.5MG. If I had to rate them I would say the Celexa helps most for my depression, the Wellbutrin counteracts the side effects of the Celexa (low sex drive, carb craving and drowsiness) and I take the Klonopin at bedtime because the Wellbutrin is a SR (sustained release) and I was waking up at 4 am.

The emptiness I am so acutely aware of came to the forefront when I began delving into the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? This self-help book hit close to home. I’d say it’s almost too much to read. But, I am reading it and I’m doing what the author suggests to heal my past trauma. I read part one and intellectually understand how my narcissistic mother often didn’t validate or acknowledge my feelings. Cognitively I get this and I’m beginning to see how it plays out in my life.

The author states that once I intellectually understand I must move to step 2 which is learning how to “deal with those difficult things called feelings.” The real work begins now, processing the feelings in order to release them from my body. It’s not fun but it’s necessary. I’m sure that’s why I have this constant sense of worthlessness that is not depression. I recognize it as steps to recovery. I must accept and grieve for the mother I didn’t have and the negative feelings that I transferred to myself. I didn’t get to be a child who felt loved, safe and secure. I am deep in the grief process of feeling that reality. ♥ Daylily

“If an individual is able to love productively, he loves himself, too; if he can love only others, he cannot love at all.”

Eric Fromm, The Art of Loving